Air-to-water heat pump: Advantages, Installation, Maintenance
With a source of heat that is 100% free and 100% renewable, heat pumps or "heat pumps" are among the most ecological heating systems and the least energy intensive.
The operation of the air-water heat pump
Heat pumps capture heat outside the house to distribute it inside, whatever the season.
An outdoor unit draws the air and, thanks to a refrigerant, recovers the calories it contains: it is the same operation as a refrigerator.
The calories are then returned inside. The so-called “air-water” heat pump draws calories from the outside air and transmits them inside via the water, as a heat transfer fluid. Once heated by air calories, hot water circulates in a closed circuit in the central heating circuit of the house - radiators, underfloor heating, etc. -. It can also heat sanitary water - kitchen, bathrooms -. The pump is powered by electricity.
There are two types of air-water heat pump: either a monobloc system, with a single unit outside the home, and the split system, with an additional internal unit: the more common, it is also the more efficient of the two.
The advantages of the air-water heat pump
Without fuel, a heat pump works with free and 100% renewable energy, apart from the electricity that powers the system. Very economical in energy, it is therefore also much more ecological than many heating solutions.
The installation of an air-water heat pump can represent a fairly significant cost, but the investment can quickly pay for itself, especially if it is combined with an efficient central heating system.
Finally, rather than having an additional air conditioner for the summer, the system can be reversed to recover the calories from the air inside the home and thus cool the air.
Install an air-water heat pump
Since it uses the calories from the air, the heat pump should preferably be installed in an area with a rather mild climate. Apart from some very efficient models, it does not work when the temperatures are too low.
It may be relevant to provide backup heating solutions when winters are more severe.
If your central heating already works with water - radiators or underfloor heating -, it will suffice to install the pump alone. Otherwise, the whole system will have to be changed.
Plan to install the external unit in a sufficiently ventilated passage, on a courtyard, a terrace or a garden: the air must circulate well. For a monobloc system, nothing will be installed inside. For a split, the indoor unit should preferably be installed near the central heating system.
Easy to maintain, you should know that when your heat pump system contains more than 2 kg of refrigerant, annual maintenance by a professional is mandatory. But for optimal operation and performance, it is still advisable to entrust the checking and adjustments of your heat pump to a professional.